Visit A Different Perspective for current photo tours led by Son Nguyen
This tour leads you to some of the most photogenic sites throughout Vietnam including northern hill tribes, ancient capitals and modern cities. You will start your journey in Hanoi with visits to Halong Bay and Sapa. Next you explore central Vietnam, Hue and Hoi An. See people making pottery, lanterns, embroidered pictures and woodcarvings. You end your journey in Saigon with its blend of old and new. Along the way, the best sites have been chosen to maximize your photo opportunities at the best time of day. Vietnam Photo Tour w/ Son Nguyen is designed for people that want to get the best possible photos of this magical place.
Since 1996, professional travel photographer Nguyen Huy Son has been guiding foreigners who have a special interest in photography such as travel photographers, photo-journalists, and television production crews. His passion for photography, fluency in English and Vietnamese, combined with his experience in tourism make him a one of a kind “Photo Tour Guide”. Son has successfully exhibited his photography internationally and has won numerous national awards in his native Vietnam. Just take a look at his photos and you immediately see the depth and breadth of his photo travels.
Son is an expert on the places photographers want to see for the best photographs. He understands the important details including the best month to travel to specific locations, the best time of day to shoot, the best angle. More importantly, Son knows what events are happening locally so that travelers come home with unique photos and unforgettable experiences. Click here to see: Son’s Photography
Day 1 – Arrive Hanoi
You arrive in Hanoi in the afternoon or evening. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Overnight at the Sofitel Plaza
Day 2 – Hanoi
You can sleep in to recover from jet lag and meet the guides and other participants at a late breakfast for an orientation. After breakfast you will visit the Temple of Literature and a few other sites as an introduction to the city. You will have lunch at the famous KOTO restaurant and then ride a cyclo, a bicycle rickshaw, to the Water Puppet Theater. Here you will have a chance to photograph this unique form of theater in the best performance in the country. After the theater performance you will visit a rooftop restaurant for an opportunity to photograph Hanoi’s version of rush hour traffic as the lights come on. You will spend one more night in Hanoi.
Day 3 – Hanoi to Halong Bay
After breakfast you will travel by van to Halong Bay. Along the way you will visit two craft centers, one that makes marble statues and another that makes ceramic items.
When you arrive in Halong Bay, you will board a private luxury junk for a two-day cruise through this world heritage site. In the afternoon you will stop at a floating fishing village where you will board sampans for a tour of the village. Later in the afternoon, you will have an opportunity to climb to the top of an island for sunset or you can choose to photograph the sunset from the boat. You will spend the night on a luxury junk in Halong Bay.
NOTE: Cruise boat is luxury and company depends on number of persons in the group for a charter.
*Paradise Cruise – 3 cabins
*Valentine’s Cruise – 5 cabins
*Violet Cruise – 6 cabins
Day 4 – Halong Bay to Hanoi to Lao Cai Station
This morning you will have an opportunity to photograph sunrise in Halong Bay from either a Sampan that is closer to the water level or the deck of the junk at a higher level. After breakfast, you will visit a cave in one of the limestone cliffs for photos of the cave and views of Halong Bay. You will return to dock before noon and have lunch in town before traveling back to Hanoi. On the way you will stop at Bac Ninh, a traditional village. After a dinner in Hanoi you will be transferred to the train station to board the Victoria Express for an overnight trip to Lao Cai. There are 4 bunks per sleeper compartment but it’s a very comfortable ride. You will spend the night on the train.
Day 5 – Lao Cai Station to Sapa
The train arrives in Lao Cai early in the morning. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel in Sapa where you will check in early, freshen up and have breakfast. Later in the morning you will visit Sin Chai Village where Black H’mong people live. After lunch you will visit Ta Phin Village where both Black H’mong and Red Dao people live. You will have an opportunity to visit homes in both villages where you can see and photograph the people in their daily activities. Overnight at the Victoria Sapa
Day 6 – Sapa
After breakfast you will take an all day excursion to visit as many hill tribe villages as time permits. You will begin with Ta Van where Zay people live and next visit Bang Ho where Tay people live. If time permits you will also visit Nam Sai Village where Hapho people live. Like the day before, you will have an opportunity to visit homes in addition to photographing people on the street and in the fields. You will return to Sapa in the late afternoon where you will have a few hours to explore the city if you wish. You will spend the night in Sapa again.
Day 7 – Sapa
You are up early this morning to travel to Bac Ha. There is a Sunday market in Bac Ha where Flower H’mong people buy and sell everything from produce to water buffalo. Everywhere you turn is another great photo op. On the way back you will stop in Bao Nhai and take a boat trip on the Chay River to two remote villages in the Trung Do area. Here you will see and photograph rural farm life in this part of the country. You arrive back in Lao Cai in the evening where you will have an opportunity to freshen up at a local hotel before boarding the night train back to Hanoi. You will spend the night on the Victoria Express train.
Day 8 – Hanoi to Hue
The train arrives in Hanoi very early in the morning. You will have an opportunity to freshen up at a hotel where you will also have breakfast. Then you will be transferred to the airport for a flight to Hue, once a capital of an ancient kingdom. Once you arrive you will be transferred to your hotel for lunch and a break. After lunch you will visit a bamboo village where they make conical hats and two different tombs, Minh Mang Tomb and Tu Duc Tomb. You will spend the night at a boutique heritage hotel on the bank of the Perfume River in Hue. Overnight at the La Residence
Day 9 – Hue
You will travel to the Trung Chanh fishing village this morning to photograph the fishermen, their boats and the village. You will board a small boat and be paddled around the other boats to get the best images in the right light. You will return to Hue for lunch and a mid day break. Later in the afternoon you will visit the Imperial Citadel where you will have an opportunity to watch and photograph an excellent traditional dance performance. You will spend the night in Hue again.
Day 10 – Hue to Hoi An
You will visit two more sights in Hue this morning, the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Khai Dinh Tomb. In the middle of the day you will travel by van to Hoi An, a traditional village on the coast. Later in the late afternoon you will take a boat ride to photograph fishermen with huge nets. You will spend the night in a comfortable hotel on the edge of the historical district in Hoi An. Overnight at the Anantara
Day 11 – Hoi An
This morning you will have a chance to visit the morning market and the Japanese Bridge to photograph vendors in the early morning light. Next you will visit a pottery village to photograph people making and firing pottery. The last stop for the morning will be a woodworking village to photograph people carving wooden statues. In the afternoon you will visit several of the shops in town where you can photograph artisans making paper lanterns and embroidered photos. You spend another night in Hoi An.
Day 12 – Hoi An to Saigon
You have a free morning to explore Hoi An or do some shopping. In the middle of the day you will transfer to the airport for a flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. As the sun goes down you will visit a rooftop lounge to watch and photograph the hectic rush hour traffic as the lights come on. Dinner will be served on the rooftop of your hotel where you can watch the river traffic at night. You will spend the night in Ho Chi Minh City again. Overnight at the Intercontinental Asiana
Day 13 – Saigon
After an early breakfast, you will visit 3 of the most notable old buildings in Ho Chi Minh City – Notre Dame Cathedral, the post office and city hall. Next you will visit Taodan Park where the locals take their pet birds for some fresh air and a chance to interact with other birds. After lunch you will photograph the inside of Ngoc Hoang pagoda with light filtering through the roof. Then you will visit a lacquer ware factory where you can photograph the artisans at work making lacquered items with mother of pearl and egg shells. Later in the afternoon you will photograph the riverfront with its contrasting high-rise buildings and old wooden homes. This final day will be topped off with a farewell dinner at a Mandarin Restaurant. You will spend the night in Ho Chi Minh City again.
Day 14 – Depart Saigon
The tour officially ends today. After breakfast you will be transferred to the Ho Chi Minh airport for your flight home or your next destination.
CALL NOW to BOOK 415-331-3791
*Photo instruction from internationally acclaimed photographer, Son Nguyen
• Accommodation with meals as indicated in the itinerary
• Transfers, tours by private car with guide mentioned as above
• Entrance fees and boat fees
• Vietnamese visa approval letter (stamp fee excluded) non-refundable if assistance is not needed
• Service charge, room tax and handling fee
Does not include:
• International air tickets to/from Vietnam
• Domestic air tickets (Subject to change until ticketed)
• Other food and beverage in addition to the above
• Early check-in and late check out charges from the hotel
• Vietnamese visa stamping fee at USD45.–/pax for single entry and USD65.–/pax for multiple entries (only applicable to people obtaining the VISA sticker in immigration upon arrival)
• Travel insurance–Required
• Expenditure of a personal nature such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, tipping etc